FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:May 7, 2012
NYC UNVEILS CITYWIDE PREVENTION CAMPAIGN TO ENCOURAGE AT RISK FAMILIES TO SEEK HOMELESSNESS PREVENTION SERVICESBEFORE SHELTER
Rigorous evaluation proves Homebase services invaluable and expansion of programand public knowledge of services critical to keeping families in homes.
The Department of Homeless Services unveiled today a Citywide homeless prevention public awarenessca
mpaign, “Reach Out, Before You’re Forced Out of Your Home: We can help you avoid shelter. If you’re at risk of becoming homeless, call 311 today.” The campaign
, which will be featured on billboards, subways, buses andbus shelters, targets families at risk of homelessness in the 15 communities most likely to enter shelter andencourages families and individuals to access prevention services through Homebase before seeking shelter. Inaddition to the outdoor campaign, television Public Service Announcements will air in July and a web video will
be live on the Homeless Services’ website. The purpose of this outreach is to continue to encourage families and
individuals to access prevention services through Homebase before seeking shelter. Total cost of the four-monthcampaign is $869,458 paid for through the Federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
“At risk families’
first stop should be a Homebase center,” said Homeless Services Commissioner Seth
At Homebase, we can serve families with customized plans and keep them in their homes-- the bestpossible outcome. By raising awareness with this campaign we can prevent New Yorkers from entering theshelter system and, through the results of this evaluation,
better invest and improve on this powerful program.”
The City of New York has the most extensive and innovative homelessness prevention services network in the country. At 13 store-front, neighborhood Homebase prevention offices throughout the five boroughs,Homebase centers offer customized assistance to families and individuals to create a personalized housingstability plan, offering a full array of services such as eviction prevention, short-term emergency funding,financial counseling, and assistance in obtaining employment and public benefits. Since its inception, Homebasehas served nearly 35,000 families and individuals.Preliminary results of a comprehensive evaluation of the Homebase program, conducted in concurrencewith the work of a Federal task force, show Homebase is successful at averting families from entering shelter, andmost effective in the highest need communities and with families most at risk of entering shelter. Researchersfound households with a previous shelter history, conflict in the household, frequent moves, child protectiveservice involvement and domestic violence, are at the highest risk of entering shelter and that the followingneighborhoods had families and individuals most likely to enter shelter: East Harlem, Castle Hill, Wakefield, EastTremont, Mount Hope, Concourse, Jamaica, East Flatbush, Crown Heights, Stapleton, East New York, Bushwick,Brownsville, and Bedford Stuyvesant.On November 4, 2011 Homeless Services released a new Request for Proposal (RFP) for Homebaseservices and, beginning in July, Homeless Services will be enhancing prevention services by implementingHomebase offices in 15 of the most at risk communities. Contractors will be required to use a risk assessment toolthat will help them predict with a high degree of accuracy which clients have the highest probability of enteringshelter. In addition, the Agency will structure performance-based contracts that incentivize providers to find andserve the most at-risk families, thus preventing the greatest number of shelter entries. High risk households willbe assigned a Homebase counselor who will work with them to develop an individualized plan to stabilize their